Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer
|Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer|
|Born||Mariana Alley Griswold
February 21, 1851
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 20, 1934
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Occupation||Critic and writer|
|Spouse(s)||Schuyler Van Rensselaer (m. 1873; his death 1884)|
|Children||George Griswold Van Rensselaer|
|Awards||American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal|
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (February 21, 1851 – January 20, 1934), usually known as Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer or M. G. Van Rensselaer, was an American author focusing on architectural criticism.
Mariana Alley Griswold was born in New York City on February 21, 1851. She was the daughter of George Griswold and Lydia (née Alley) Griswold (1826–1908). Her younger brothers were Frank Gray Griswold (1855–1937), the stepfather of Cass Canfield, and George Griswold (1857–1917), the Vice President and General Manager of the Tuxedo Park Association.
She began writing in 1876. The first woman architectural critic, she grew in influence in the 1880s. However, her publications encompassed also art and landscape architecture criticism, fiction, and children's literature. She wrote articles in American Art Review, Century Magazine, and Garden and Forest (in which she wrote many unattributed articles)  After refuting an offer to edit the American Art Review in 1881, she began writing for Century Magazine. She advocated that the public should view architectural works not as just the work of the individual firm owners, but the entire firm (particularly in reference to McKim, Mead, and White), and preferred architectural training at colleges for create intellectual and genteel architects, rather than the on-the-job training which was common at the time.
Around 1890, Van Rensselaer garnered an honorary membership to the American Institute of Architects, and in 1920 to the American Society of Landscape Architects  In 1910, she received the degree of D. Litt. from Columbia University, the accomplishment being an extraordinary one for a woman at that time. She was awarded the 1923 American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal. In 1915, in honor of deceased son, she donated a collection of reproductions of frescoes, vases, and other objects which illustrate the prehistoric culture of Greece to Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University.
Van Rensselaer also served a number of charitable organisations, including University Settlement Women's Auxiliary (president from 1896-1898), Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement, and the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. She was president of the Public Education Association of New York from 1899-1906. Although she did vote in 1893 while living in Colorado, she later was involved with New York State Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage for Women.
In 1873, she married Schuyler Van Rensselaer (1845–1884) of the prominent Van Rensselaer family. Together, they lived in New Brunswick, New Jersey. They had one child, born in February 1875, before her husband, a mining engineer, died in 1884.
- George Griswold Van Rensselaer (1875–1894), who died before his twentieth birthday and was a member of Harvard University's class of 1896.
Her writings include:
- American Etchers (New York, 1886)
- Henry Hobson Richardson and his Works (1888)
- Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (2007). "Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer's Landscape Gardening Manifesto in Garden and Forest". Landscape Journal. 26 (2): 183. doi:10.3368/lj.26.2.183.
- English Cathedrals (1892; fourth edition, 1892)
- Art out of Doors (1893)
- "Fifth Avenue", The Century Magazine (1893) Examined the new development around Central Park.
- Should We Ask for the Suffrage? (1894)
- One Man Who was Content (1896)
- Niagara, a Description (1901)
- History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century (1909)
- Poems (1910)
- Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1889). "Van Rensselaer, Mariana Griswold". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- "George Griswold". The New York Times. 19 March 1917. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- "GEORGE GRISWOLD 2D'S WILL.; Estate Divided Among Relatives and Friends -- Mother Residuary Legatee". The New York Times. 24 March 1903. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- McLeod, Mary and Rosner, Victoria. "Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer". Pioneering Women of American Architecture.
-  Archived July 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Sarah Allaback (2008). The First American Women Architects. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-03321-6.
- Major, Judith K. (2013). Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer a landscape critic in the gilded age. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. p. 207. ISBN 0813934559.
- Roth, Leland M. (2011). "Van Rensselaer, Mariana Griswold". In Joan Marter. The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Oxford University Press.
- "Art Gift by Mrs. Van Rensselaer". The New York Times. 14 November 1915. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- "MRS. VAN RENSSELAER, ART AUTHORITY, DIES; Noted Critic, 82, Also Was Author of History of Early New York and a School Leader". The New York Times. January 21, 1934. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Gilder, Joseph B. (January 26, 1934). "AN EMINENT NEW YORKER. The Late Mrs., Schuyler Van Rensselaer Was a Distinguished Author". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Luther S. Harris (2003). Around Washington Square. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-7341-6.
- "American Country Dwellings." Parts I-III. The Century Magazine. 1886.
- Judith K. Major. Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer: A Landscape Critic in the Gilded Age (University of Virginia Press; 2013) 302 pages; scholarly biography
- Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer at Find a Grave
- Works by or about Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer at Internet Archive
- Works by Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907), Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer (Mariana Griswold), 1888; this cast, 1890